Monday 19 October 2015

Hugh's birthday and a few days away

So, Hugh celebrated a big birthday last Monday. And big birthdays deserve big celebrations!

So we started with a family meal last Saturday evening - my Mum and Dad joined us, as did Ben, Amy and Penny.
We had a lovely and fun meal together and embarrassed Hugh when we sang 'happy birthday' and the whole restaurant joined in!

Monday was actually his birthday and we celebrated in the evening with his favourite meal of 'party pork chops' (a family recipe) followed by a cake made by Penny of course!

The cake was shaped like 2 pasties as Hugh said that the food he was missing most from doing Slimming World was pasties! However, he was thrilled with a coffee walnut flavour shaped pasty cake! (And he got to have a pasty on our trip away!)

On Wednesday Hugh and I set off for him to partake of his birthday present from me - a two day Steam Engineman Course at the West Somerset Railway in Minehead.
We arrived Wednesday evening and had a lovely meal out before retiring to our B&B which I can highly recommend- Glendower House - it was spotlessly clean, had a lovely tea tray with a wide assortment of drinks on it plus Fairtrade biscuits, super toiletries in the bathroom and a full cooked English breakfast to die for! The owners were incredibly welcoming too.

So, on to Hugh's course! The first day he spent on the theory side and got to visit the engine sheds, signal box etc. The second day was an early start at 7.30am to prepare the engine they would be using. There were 5 of them on the course and they spent the morning learning how to control the engine, shunting up and down the yard.
After lunch they each took it in turns to drive the 3 miles to Blue Anchor and then be the fireman on the return journey. Hugh thoroughly enjoyed both roles! And I was lucky enough to get to ride in one of the coaches on his journey - the line is not open to the public when these courses are running and they don't always let accompanying family travel. 
And so what did I do? Well on the first day I found a guided tour of Higher Minehead which impound download to my phone. It started at the beginning of the South West Coast Parh where there was this splendid sculpture. 
The climb was quite steep but with it for the views and also to see The Church which had some 14th century chained Bibles in. I took LOADS of photos, these are just a taster!
View from the Church door.
Looking back up at the Church. I met another wife on the second day and we just clicked and ended up spending the day together, having lunch, taking photos of our husbands, exploring the shops and having our ride behind the train. The course ended at 6pm so Hugh and I then jumped into the car and drove to Cornwall as we were only a couple of hours away. That meant that on Saturday morning we were able to go and visit Hugh's Mum who had also just celebrated a birthday 96 years young! Sh was thrilled to see us both and we stayed for a few hours before returning home. 
Hugh said that his present exceeded all expectations which made me really happy. He wants to go and do the next course now!


Sian said...

Happy Birthday to both of them! What a fantastic present: not one to be forgotten about it a hurry. Oh, and I bet there'll be a few layouts to be done about it too. That's a win win :)

Maria Ontiveros said...

Oh my! A little boy's dream for a grown up! I love that.

Karen said...

Happy Birthday to Hugh! It was the perfect gift, I think, and it sounds like you had a pretty good time as well.
(Hugh's mom looks fantastic. No one would ever guess her age!)

Melissa said...

Sounds like y'all have had a great time celebrating Hugh's birthday! That course was a great gift!

Gail said...

Definitely sounds like a birthday he'll remember! Happy Birthday to both he and his Mum.

Jo said...

It sounds like an absolutely amazing present and it looks like you had a wonderful time away x

Sandra said...

That's one happy chap, wishing him a happy birthday and never would you say his mum was that age ... Fabulous photo of them both. One of your five I think x

alexa said...

What a perfectly super present you gave him! I love that photo of his face, up there in the middle of your sequence. And especially nice that you had a great time too. I hope I look as young as Hugh's Mum if I make it to that splendid age! Wishing Hugh a belated and very happy birthday.

Missus Wookie said...

Oh that sounds like a wonderful present - not surprised he wants to go back and do the next course. Happy Birthday to Hugh :)

The photo of him grinning with soot on his face is just great. Glad you found fun things to do as well.